Golf and football tee it up

PGA golfer and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, who is also a Steelers season ticket holder, was at Steelers practice on Saturday morning at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

"I have never seen the practice facility," said Furyk, who was accompanied by his parents and son. "I have been a fan my whole life. My mom and dad grew up here in the Pittsburgh area. It's fun to be here. But the players are at work. They have a game tomorrow."

Furyk, who will lead the Terrible Towel Twirl on Sunday before the Steelers-Chiefs game at Heinz Field, brought the Ryder Cup with him to practice, the final stop the cup is making on a United States tour before it heads to Paris, France for the Ryder Cup tournament which begins on Sept. 28.

As the captain of the United States Ryders Cup team, Furyk had the opportunity to select one of the stops on the tour and coming to a Steelers game was his first choice.

"The PGA of America came to me months and months ago," said Furyk. "We have the trophy tour now. The Ryder Cup is touring 11 cities. They asked if there was anything near and dear to my heart, somewhere I would like to take it. I said I would like to take it to a Steelers game. They went to work on that.

"It just so happened the Steelers home opener was this week and we leave in a week to go to Paris. The whole idea of the trophy is to let fans see it, take a picture with it, just to have it at the game in the middle of the stadium with 65,000 fans is incredible. To be a part of the Towel Twirl is such a tradition here. I have seen a number of former players do it. It's an honor to lead Steelers Nation."

Furyk spent time chatting with Steelers President Art Rooney II, who presented him with a jersey, as well as Coach Mike Tomlin and many of the players, including Ben Roethlisberger.

"I take a lot of time off in the fall," said Furyk. "I probably get a chance to see 10 of the 16 games live. The ones I don't I tape and watch every game and enjoy it. The DirecTV NFL package has been a godsend. I live in Jacksonville now and my friends try to drag me to the games. I joke and tell them I would rather watch the Steelers on television than the Jags live. My perfect Sunday is to cook all morning and then sitting on the couch watching football all day and hanging with family and friends."

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